Comcast rolls out 50 MBPS Internet service in Vermont

first_img(Vermont Biz April 6, 2010) – Comcast, a leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services, today announced it has made the leap from broadband to wideband with the launch of next-generation DOCSIS 3.0 in 29 communities across Vermont.  With wideband, Comcast has introduced a new echelon of Internet speeds, redefining the customer experience online and creating a platform for Internet innovation in the years ahead.Comcast now offers among the fastest speeds available today with wideband, including the Extreme 50 tier with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps.  Wideband has also enabled Comcast to double speeds for the majority of its existing residential high-speed Internet customers.The new extreme speeds are now available to residential homes and businesses in the communities of Burlington, Essex, Huntington, Saint George, South Burlington, Williston and Winooski, as well as the Addison County communities of Bristol, Lincoln, Middlebury, Monkton, New Haven, and Starksboro.  Comcast also offers wideband speeds in the Upper Valley area in the towns of Bridgewater, Cavendish, Chester, Hartford, Hartland, Londonderry, Ludlow, Norwich, Plymouth, Reading, Springfield, Weathersfield, West Windsor, Weston, Windsor and Woodstock.“Wideband utilizes our existing advanced fiber-optic network in neighborhoods across our footprint to dramatically enhance our customers’ online experience,” said Pam Mackenzie, Vice President for Comcast in Vermont.  “This new service will enable us to continue to offer our customers even faster speeds and an entirely new realm of Internet innovation.”As part of the wideband deployment, Comcast has launched a new 50 Mbps premium speed tier to its residential and business customers.  This new service is ideal for households or businesses simultaneously using several computers or Internet-connected devices.  They also appeal to those who simply want some of the fastest speeds available today:New Residential TierExtreme 50, offers up to 50 Mbps of downstream speed and up to 10 Mbps of upstream speed at $99.95 a month.*With Extreme 50, Comcast customers will be able to download a high-definition movie (6 GB) in about 16 minutes, a standard-definition movie (2 GB) in about five minutes and a standard-definition TV show (300 MB) in a matter of seconds.  Customers with Extreme 50 also will be able to download digital photos, songs and games faster than ever.In addition to the new speed tier, Comcast also is increasing speeds for most of its existing customers:Performance tier customers will benefit from doubled downstream and upstream speeds, offering up to 12 Mbps and 2 Mbps, respectively.Performance Plus customers will be upgraded to Comcast’s Blast! tier, which will double their download speeds to up to 16 Mbps and provide up to 2 Mbps of upload speed. Plus, with PowerBoost technology, customers are able to enjoy even faster speeds to download and upload files such as videos, games, music and photos.New Business Class TiersBusiness customers will also benefit from wideband with increased efficiency and productivity.  Customers can sign up for the Deluxe 50 Mbps / 10 Mbps tier for $189.95 a month, which includes a full suite of features and support.  As part of their service, Comcast Business Class customers receive Microsoft Communication Services, providing corporate class e-mail, calendaring and document sharing, as well as additional benefits such as firewall protection, static IP addresses, multiple e-mail addresses and business class 24/7 customer support.  Existing Business Class customers also will receive speed increases in the near future – speeds on the Starter tier will be doubled to up to 12 Mbps / 2 Mbps – and a second new Premium Tier is also now available, offering speeds up to 22 Mbps / 5 Mbps for $99.95 a monthAs of today, Comcast has rolled out the new wideband technology to more than 75 percent of its footprint across the nation, which means that more than 38 million homes and businesses can now enjoy one of the fastest Internet services in the country.For more information on Comcast’s wideband services, customers can call 1-800-COMCAST or visit www.comcast.com/fastestfast(link is external).* Pricing for residential customers and requires subscription to Comcast Cable service.About Comcast in VermontSince entering Vermont in November 2006, Comcast has aggressively expanded its services across the state, investing in its advanced fiber-optic network to bring broadband services to previously unserved homes and businesses and partnering with local communities.  The company has launched a number of its advanced services in this time, including Digital Cable with On Demand, High-Definition Television Service, Digital Video Recorders, Comcast High-Speed Internet service, Digital Voice, and the company’s Business Class suite of voice, Internet and cable television services for small and medium-sized businesses.  In addition, Comcast has offered programming of special interest to Vermonters.  Comcast also assists local non-profit organizations in Vermont with financial, in-kind and employee volunteer support.About Comcast CorporationComcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com(link is external)) is one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services.  With 23.6 million cable customers, 15.9 million high-speed Internet customers, and 7.6 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.Comcast’s content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, 11 regional sports networks operated by Comcast Sports Group and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast’s Internet businesses, including Comcast.net (www.comcast.net(link is external)).  Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, which owns two professional sports teams, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, and a large, multipurpose arena in Philadelphia, the Wachovia Center, and manages other facilities for sporting events, concerts and other events.Source: SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT – (April 6, 2010) – Comcast# # #last_img read more

Read more on Comcast rolls out 50 MBPS Internet service in Vermont

Fitch downgrades $537 million Vermont Municipal Bond Bank general resolution bonds to ‘AA’

first_imgSource: Fitch Ratings CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– 11.17.2010 Fitch Ratings assigns an ‘AA’ rating to the following 2010 Vermont Municipal Bond Bank bonds, issued under the 1988 General Resolution:–$24,280,000 (federally taxable recovery zone economic development bonds) series 5.The bonds are expected to sell via negotiation during the week of Nov. 15, 2010.In addition, Fitch downgrades $536,855,000 in outstanding general resolution bonds to ‘AA’ from ‘AAA’.The Rating Outlook is Stable.RATING RATIONALE:–The rating downgrade is due to the program cash flows failure to pass Fitch’s ‘AAA’ stress test.–The program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 20.3% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification.–The program, which consists of 298 borrowers, is diverse with low single-borrower concentration.–The program’s loan security is strong, with approximately 98% of all loans backed by a general obligation pledge and additional protection from borrower defaults through a state-aid intercept mechanism.KEY RATING DRIVERS:–Fitch will continue to evaluate the bond bank’s ability to balance future leveraging with program resources to maintain borrower default tolerance levels that pass Fitch’s ‘AA’ stress test scenarios.–Credit quality of the bonds is linked to repayment performance on the program’s loan portfolio.SECURITY:Program bonds are secured by borrower loan repayments and debt service reserve funds. A state moral obligation on the reserve fund and a state-aid intercept provision for borrowers provide additional credit enhancement.CREDIT SUMMARY:Established in 1970, The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank (VMBB) is a quasi-state agency. It is administered by a five-member board consisting of four gubernatorial appointees and the state treasurer. The bond bank issues bonds and uses the proceeds to make loans to local government borrowers throughout the state. Virtually all of Vermont’s eligible municipalities use the bond bank as their primary borrowing vehicle because it offers local government borrowers the lowest cost of capital.The loan pool consists of 298 borrowers from cities, towns, counties, school districts and other local governments throughout the state. Approximately 98% of all loans are backed by a general obligation pledge; the remaining are backed by utility pledges from four borrowers. About 51% of the loans are to school districts, which are further backed by an intercept mechanism that includes any state funds payable to borrowers. State aid is reportedly over 90% of school district debt service. The loan portfolio’s largest borrower, Springfield School District, comprises only 5% of the portfolio. The top 10 borrowers account for 33% of the total outstanding loan balance.Fitch analyzed the default tolerance of the VMBB loan pool using a stress test it also applies to state revolving funds and other municipal loan pools. The stress test considers loan quality, single risk concentration, reserve fund size, and debt service requirements. Due to the already tight margins on the program’s stressed cash flows, with the issuance of the 2010 series 5 bonds, the program cash flows fail to pass Fitch’s ‘AAA’ stress test by $4.4 million and $2 million in 2014 and 2027, respectively; this scenario assumes that no scheduled federal debt service subsidies are received. Per its report ‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market — Credit Considerations’ dated April 27, 2010, Fitch assesses the ability of the issuer to pay full interest on the BABs, regardless of the subsidy. While Fitch believes there could be offsets to some annual subsidy payments, it believes that VMBB management would take action to address the reasons for the offset and avoid multiple years with no subsidy, including the use of certain optional redemption provisions for its federally subsidized bonds. Even if the federal subsidies were considered in Fitch’s analysis, the stressed cash flows would still miss Fitch’s ‘AAA’ test by $1.3 million in 2014. Nevertheless, the program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding the federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 20.3% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification.The debt service reserve fund, which is sized at the least of maximum annual debt service, 125% average annual debt service, or 10% of bond proceeds, is funded with bond proceeds and invested in U.S. treasury and agency securities. Pledged reserves currently total $51.3 million, or 9.5% of bonds outstanding. In addition, the bank currently maintains approximately $10.9 million in unrestricted general fund reserves, which are not pledged to bondholders but may be used if a deficiency occurs. The bonds are also supported by a state moral obligation to replenish the debt service reserve fund if it falls below its minimum specified level. Neither the intercept nor the moral obligation has ever been utilized, because no borrower has defaulted on a loan repayment since the bond bank began operations in 1970.Loan payments are due 15 days before the bond payment dates. Under Vermont’s state intercept provision, if a borrower fails to make its scheduled loan repayment, the bond bank will certify the failure of that payment with the state treasurer. The state treasurer would then pay the defaulted loan amount to the bank’s trustee from amounts appropriated and payable by the state to the defaulted borrower, if available. If sufficient state aid is unavailable, it will be paid from subsequent interceptable state aid payments, with bond bank reserves covering the temporary shortfall. To date, this mechanism has not been tested as there have not been any loan defaults in the history of the program.Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:–‘Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria’ (Oct. 8, 2010);–‘State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelines’ (April 28, 2008);–‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market – Credit Considerations’ (April 27, 2010).For information on Build America Bonds, visit www.fitchratings.com/BABs(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelineshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=3…(link is external)Revenue-Supported Rating Criteriahttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market — Credit Considerationshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. last_img read more

Read more on Fitch downgrades $537 million Vermont Municipal Bond Bank general resolution bonds to ‘AA’

CASE OF MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING SENATOR BRIAN O’DOMHNAILL ADJOURNED AGAIN

first_imgThe trial of a man accused of allegedly assaulting Senator Brian O’Domhnaill has been adjourned again until April.Dungloe District Court was told this morning that instructions are still awaited from the Director of Public Prosecutions in the case.The charge against Jim Sharkey of assaulting Senator O Domhnaill and causing him harm at Meenacuing, Gweedore, last August 22nd has now been put back to be heard on April 12th. Sharkey, who has an address at Bayside, New York, is also accused of breaching the peace with threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour at the same place on the same date, and with damaging a plastic seat belt cover from a Ford Transit minibus belonging to Neil Gallagher.Garda Inspector Sylvie applied for the adjournment for the decision of the DPP.He told an earlier hearing that a fairly elaborate investigation was carried out by Gardai into the case.Judge Denis McLoughlin agreed to an application by defence solicitor Jacqui Sharkey that her client, who lives in New York, could be excused from the next hearing when a decision on the prosecution process will be made by the DPP.EndsCASE OF MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING SENATOR BRIAN O’DOMHNAILL ADJOURNED AGAIN was last modified: March 8th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read more on CASE OF MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING SENATOR BRIAN O’DOMHNAILL ADJOURNED AGAIN